Sabbatical for IT workers to meet company's CSR line

The meeting convened by IT Ministry comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's town hall in Delhi on October 24 with tech professionals to "enthuse and inspire them" to make India's digital story one of social inclusion. (Representative image)

How about allowing IT company employees to go on sabbatical and take up social work in rural areas under corporate social responsibility?

The suggestion came up at an IT companies' representatives meeting chaired by Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad here on Thursday.

The meeting convened by IT Ministry comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's town hall in Delhi on October 24 with tech professionals to "enthuse and inspire them" to make India's digital story one of social inclusion.

One of the suggestions made at the meeting was to allow employees to go on sabbatical and take up corporate social volunteering, undertaking social initiatives in backward and laggard districts and sharing industry best practices on a common platform, was mooted.

IT firms must consider this suggestion seriously, said the Minister, adding that during a sabbatical, IT employees can teach English in rural areas or teach basic computer skills in schools and colleges or any other works assigned by their firms.

The suggestions floated at the meeting, including productive sabbatical, would be discussed by both the IT Ministry and IT companies and a plan prepared for proper implementation, the Minister said.

Poor visibility

Though the IT industry spent Rs 5,000 crore under CSR every year, the works undertaken were not very visible. So, the companies now want to come together and implement their social works in a co-ordinated manner, former Infosys Director T V Mohandas Pai said.

As 211 districts in the country have been identified as backward, the government suggested that the companies take up some projects in these areas, he said.

The meeting was attended by Debjani Ghosh (Nasscom President), Rajan Anandan (Google Vice President - South East Asia and India), BVR Mohan Reddy (Cyient Executive Chairman), and Pankaj Mohindroo (Indian Cellular Association's National President), among others.

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Sabbatical for IT workers to meet company's CSR line

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